Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mercedes Half Marathon Recap (Weekend Update)


Hi, everyone!  I hope your week will be fantastic.


I spent Saturday morning doing the usual chores and grocery shopping.  I left for Birmingham in the  afternoon and arrived at the Mercedes expo fairly late.  Packet pickup was quick and easy.  There seemed to be more vendors than last year and I bought another skirt, hoping it would match my Half Fanatic sleeves (yes, it's truly a sickness).  I did not sleep well Saturday night and Sunday dawned rainy and gloomy.  I am energized and motivated by sunlight and felt rather lethargic.

A red tech shirt is rare!



It was fun to match the person with their blog and meet Pam from Herbie on the Run.   After having issues with her hip, and a very stressful Saturday traveling to Birmingham, she had a great race.  She inspires me to eventually run in all 50 states.  My local Half Fanatic buddy Valerie was there.  We will be at the same half next weekend too!

Me, Pam, Valerie and Venus --- all still dry


This is quite the hilly race.   They just keep rolling along with a few longer ones thrown in for good measure.  Due to the rain, the crowd support was less.  I'm still in awe of the number of spectators last year!  There were plenty of water stops - one might say too many, if that's possible.  Also on course were GU, fruit, Gummy Bears, and other random items.

My left knee has been, hmm...not necessarily painful, but...cranky.  I cut back on mileage and abused my foam roller all week.  This race is the first of four H/Ms I'm running on consecutive weekends.  My plan for the first was to be cautious and do it as a training run, hoping for a better race next weekend.


IT RAINED
  • My new Under Armour popover rain shell was not water repellent.  Hello, UA?  Did you bother to test this item?  The soaked-through sleeves were stuck to my arms before the race started.
  • My shuffle was under my clothes and hard to operate.  My salt caps were deep in my pocket to stay dry.  My cold water-logged hands just wouldn't work.  Is there a magic trick for opening GU with useless hands?
  • I spent too much time and effort dodging puddles.
  • Both feet cramped because they were wet and cold.  I walked a couple of times to get them to ease off.   I also walked off a side stitch.
  • The humidity was 100% - it's not wise to get me started on this topic. 

Pam and me --- after the rain.   The beach towel came in handy.


ON THE BRIGHT SIDE
  • I got to do my favorite thing:  run a half marathon -- at any speed -- in any condition.
  • The Girls on the Run chapter gave us bling for our bibs.  I thought that was a cute touch.
  • My cranky knee (IT band), that I worried and worried over all week, was perfectly fine.  I kept my stride purposely short and it worked like a charm.
  • My shoes did not eat my socks.  That's what happened the last time I raced in the rain. 
  • The rain was not torrential.  I've done worse.
  • My time WAS more like that of a training run, as planned.  (But, admittedly I'm a little worried as it should have felt easier.)
  • I finished strong and uninjured at 2:10:49.  Age Group Placement = 34/190.
  • I got a super shiny Mercedes emblem finishers medal.  They gave out colorful beach towels at the finish line as well. 
  • The band played Jimmy Buffet and Lynard Skynard while I ate BBQ. Awesome.
  • I drank a huge Starbucks on my drive home. 


One last thought...

The weather may not reflect it yet, but my allergies have started acting up which means Spring will soon be here!

Tell me about your weekend!   Do you have any tricks for running in the rain?

Thank you Tara for hosting Weekend Update!  Check out her blog as well as the others who linked up.







46 comments:

  1. Oh, that sounds pretty miserable, but I love that your bright side includes crossing the finish line uninjured - yay!! Four halfs in four weekends is really impressive. Good luck!!

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    1. Thanks. Hopefully I can remain strong and uninjured through all four.

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  2. Congrats on the finishing time and you did it under the rain on a hilly race. Not to say....4 halts in a row.
    34 of 190: impressive!

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    1. Thank you. The next one is not as hilly and I'm hoping for nice weather.

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  3. congrats on another half.I have run a few in the rain and it's not fun.If you find a jacket that is waterproof, it'll probably be too heavy and suffocating to run in.

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    1. I was so excited when I received the pullover. It was extremely lightweight! It repelled NO water. I'm so disappointed.

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  4. I really wanted to do a weekend update post! I really did but my weekend was too full and I just didn't have time. Sounds like a cool race. I have really run a race in the rain before. Couple of training runs only. But I think all this rain racing qualifies you to be a bad ass!

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    1. Well, I'll definitely look at it that way! I've done one in heavy rain before and I WAS a tough cookie that day!

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  5. Congrats on the great finishing time for your half. Some love running in the rain, me....not so much. LOL!

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    1. I need sunshine just to get pumped for a race. The rain does not help at all.

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  6. I try not to run in the rain much but you had a great finish! and that is a super cool medal! Nice job!

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    1. Thank you. You can see yourself in the medal!

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  7. Oh goodness I saw the rain reports. Blech. And boo to your shell soaking thru. Congrats to you for pushing through a tough one. I've heard about that legendary medal.

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    1. UA is one of my favorite brands. I can't believe they sold a rain jacket that didn't repel water.

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  8. Well, I think you did a GREAT job under the circumstances; unexpected weather problems, malfunctioning gear and so much more are tough to deal with and you made it with a smile! I love that you were able to meet up with some other gals and enjoy the race and I'm so glad your knee didn't bother you - woo hoo! Great recap and thank you for linking up with the blog today; hope your week is off to a great start!

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    1. It's funny, the one thing you fret about most (my knee in this instance) usually doesn't come to pass. It's some random thing you don't see coming that gets you. Ha!

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  9. Way to power through! Think how great your next half in sunny weather will be :-)

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    1. Oh yes, I'm so hoping for 40 degrees and sunshine!

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  10. Great job running in the rain! It's tough but you did it and you received an awesome medal! Way to go!! Love the red tech tee you got too!

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    1. I've run something like 130 races and NEVER received a red shirt. I thought that was great!

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  11. Great job running in such miserable conditions! Gotta love a race where the bling is a Mercedes medallion!

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    1. Yes you do. I now have a set. Gosh I hope I get sunshine for the next one. I haven't seen the sun in days!

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  12. I'm so happy to have met you! I enjoyed everything so much, despite the less-than-stellar conditions. I hope we get to do it again!!!

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    1. You too! If you are ever looking for someone to race with, let me know. At least we are both in the south...a lot closer than most bloggers!! I'd like to do another TN run. I hope your hip continues to improve.

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  13. You run so many awesome races, your so lucky!!!!
    I had to laugh about your rain gear not working. I ran Oklahoma City Marathon a few years ago, it was a downpour all 26.2 miles and I thought Ihad a great rain jacket, but it was horrible soaked right into the middle layer and filled up with so much water I was constantly draining it, thankfully I kept a garbage bag with me, and that worked the best, LOL
    Great job on your finish, that's a good looking finishers medal too!!!

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    1. I had packed a garbage bag and would have been so much better off wearing it! Live and learn.

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  14. Congratulations on your race. Even though it was rainy sounds like he pros outweight the cons. Running in all 50 states is a goal of mine too.-L

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    1. It will take me quite a bit time to get 50 states, but at least it's something to work toward.

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  15. I love both the tech shirt and medal. Rain is my least favorite condition for running, so I am in awe that you still were able to pull out so many positives from the race. Congratulations on finishing strong, getting another half under your belt, and focusing on the positives of a hilly, rainy race. You inspire me! Also cool that you got to meet Pam and others. I love meeting online friends in real life!

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    1. Rain just causes little inconveniences! It was fun to meet fellow blogger Pam. She was gracious enough to hang out with me.

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  16. Sounded like a tough one but it's out of the way and you're ready for next week now!! Gummy Bears - that's a fun idea for fuel. We had a chance of getting rained out of our race this weekend (they close the trails is it rains too hard) but luckily it only rained for like 2 minutes during the race and then poured once we got home. Happy training for your next race!!

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    1. I've seen Skittles at races too. It makes sense they would close a trail for rain, else you'd be slipping and sliding everywhere.

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  17. One down, three to go! Let's hope your next three are dryer! Love the medal!

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    1. It's looking pretty good for the second one. Fingers are crossed.

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  18. Yay! You did fantastic! And the knee cooperated! My running in the rain trick is to wear a visor so I can see where I am going (which it looks like you did), and put my stuff in bags :) There is a way to open a GU - use your mouth - that is how I open them anyway. :)

    Ugh, I have a UA top that is supposed to be for running in the rain. I hope it actually works!

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    1. I've tried using my mouth to open GU but can't do that either! I hope your rain top actually works. I just assumed something sold as a popover rain shell jacket would repel water. Oops, my bad! HA.

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  19. Congrats on finishing another half! You're pretty hardcore when you have a matching set of arm sleeves and skirt from Half Fanatics!!!

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    1. Thanks. The HF blue is so hard to match! I bought a wonder woman skirt and will probably NEVER wear it. HA!

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  20. I'm a little late just now getting caught up on blogs I follow but I enjoyed reading your recap on the Mercedes! I hope we have the opportunity to meet up on down the road. I think it's neat to meet fellow bloggers :) I stayed dry thanks to my hubs until the very start. Course I was equally thankful for that towel at the end. We didn't stay for the eating and entertainment. I left shortly after getting my massage, I hope you were able to get one too! I loved the Red tech shirt as well already wore it too ;) Where is your next race? Have a great rest of the week!

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    1. I was completely soaked after standing in the P-P line. I was so disappointed in my rain jacket. Ugh! Centerpoint is this weekend and Tuscaloosa after that. Maybe we can meet there! No massage for me, but lots of foam rolling this week. LOL.

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  21. Rain is always a tough factor in a race! The humidity at 100% also rough, so you did fantastic :) and you look awesome for just finishing in the rain, smiling and fresh :)
    I love buying running stuff more than anything, you are so right, it's a sickness lol I hope the next one holds better weather for you!!

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    1. The weather looks better for the next one. I'm not sure I'll be able to perform any better though! ;)

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  22. What a fun race despite the rain. I love that they gave you a finishers medal and a beach towel. Plus barbeque and Jimmy Buffet, a powerful combination afterwards. So sorry your UA jacket was not water repellent, especially since their gear is pricey. Have you gotten in touch with them?

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    1. I loved receiving the beach towel. I wish more races did that. Yes the jacket was pricy and I will be returning it.

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  23. I ran The Woodlands Marathon in the somewhat cold (40*) and rainy weather yesterday. I partly tore off the gel tops with my teeth leaving the top attached so I wouldn't have two pieces and shoved out the chilled GU (the peanut butter was the worst -so thick from the cold) into my mouth. Congrats on your finish!

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    1. I agree about the Peanut Butter. It is very thick in cold temps. I can't get my teeth to work on GU either. I typically cut the tops slightly before the race so it won't be so difficult, but it still is. I can't wait to read your recap!

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